The Big 5: Questions Every Mom Asks, Part 3

June 1, 2018
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Welcome back to our mini-series!

The Big 5: Questions Every Mom Asks, Answered by an OBGYN and one of our very own Momseze medical directors, Dr. Julie Schurr.  In this final edition, we’ll cover questions 4 and 5!


4. How long should I breastfeed my baby?

A great question for Momseze’s Lactation Consultants who are certified as an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant)! My general response to this question is to set an initial goal of exclusive breastfeeding for your baby’s first six months. This is in keeping with not just the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) but is also consistent with the World Health Organization’s recommendation. All three organizations also recommend consideration of continued breastfeeding for the next 6-18 months with the addition of complementary solid foods. The WHO even recommends continued breastfeeding up to three years of age, if both mother and child elect. I find that sometimes patients are made to feel guilty or unworthy if they discontinue breastfeeding before the initial six-month goal. Often, there are legitimate physical or psychological reasons warranting a change to formula. It’s my role to inquire as to why, assist and provide resources and support if needed, but never to judge. I emphasize that any amount of breastfeeding provides benefit to your baby.

5. How will I know if I’m just overwhelmed and sleep-deprived versus depressed postpartum? Do I need help?

Absolutely every new Mom experiences a transition in mood postpartum. The spectrum includes feeling mildly anxious and uncertain and crying “just because it feels better” to intense feelings that are prohibitive of you taking care of yourself and your baby. In other words, Postpartum Blues can be anticipated, to some extent, in all new Moms. After all, your hormones just took a cliff dive immediately post-delivery and that shift is strongly correlated to feeling moody. Resolution usually occurs within 1-2 weeks after delivery and without medication. Postpartum Depression (affecting one in seven women) is a much more profound and extended depression. Although usually beginning 1-3 weeks post-delivery, it can evolve any time up a year postpartum. Two consistent red flags I’ve noted for postpartum depression include insomnia and severe anxiety. Postpartum depression screening using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) https://pesnc.org/wp-content/uploads/EPDS.pdf serves as a good resource and takes less than 5 minutes to complete. Typically, your Provider asks you to perform some sort of a postpartum depression screening questionnaire around your routine postpartum visit at 4-6 weeks; earlier if you or family members are concerned. Treatment involves anti-depressants and sometimes adjunct talk therapy.

The Big 5: Questions Every Mom Asks, Part 3

Julie Schurr

OBGYN, Momseze Regional Medical Director

When Dr. Schurr isn't delivering babies or doing surgery, she spends her time in Guatemala developing a Women's Health Clinic for the severely under-served women of that country. She loves kick-boxing and working out in the gym, cooking up a storm with her two grown daughters, and playing with her big Rhodesian Ridgeback pup, Zulu.